“My inward joy is to look at the interplays of light and photograh them… Without light, nothing exists, and there is no more liberty.” – Jean Dieuzaide
Jean Dieuzaide was a French photographer who was born in n Grenade, Haute-Garonne in 1921. At 13, he was given a cardboard Coronet 6 x 9 camera. He attended secondary schools in Toulouse, Bordeaux, Cannes and Nice and during WW2 he photographed while in training camps in 1942 and documented young people in Provence.
From this period, he signed much of his work ‘Yan’, his Resistance nickname, out of a concern that photography might not be a respectable occupation. On the liberation of Toulouse he decided to make photography his vocation.
Commissioned in 1944 to produce documentary work by the Presidence du Conseil, Dieuzaide set up his first studio and made one of the first portraits of General de Gaulle. In 1946 following his exhibition at the Salon de la Bibliotheque National Editions Arthaud hired him to produce La Gascogne.
He is famous for his 1951 portrayal of Salvador Dali swimming at Cadaquès, his moustache decorated with daisies. For a Life magazine assignment to photograph a tightrope walker couple’s wedding for which he climbed astride the shoulders of one of the performers in 1954.
He was a photographer in the French Humanist style and a member of Le Groupe des XV, and later of Les 30 x 40, and was the founder of the group ‘Libre Expression’, also practicing abstraction.
Though Dieuzaide began as a photojournalist it was his travel and architectural photography that appeared in books from the 1950s.
In the seventies he created the famous French gallery Le château d’eau, pôle photographique de Toulouse in an old water tower and dominated the photographic culture of the city of Toulouse in south-west France for over two decades.